Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Colorado weeklies add AP to inform readers of state and national stories that could impact locals

While most community newspapers aren't members of The Associated Press, a pair of Pikes Peak Newspapers Inc. weeklies in central Colorado have joined AP to inform readers about events that might be of local interest but happen outside the coverage area.

"You may be wondering if this signals some sort of shift from our motto that 'community matters' and our vow to be laser-focused on local news," writes Bill Vogrin, owner/editor of The Pikes Peak Courier and The Tribune. "Let me tell you emphatically: Absolutely not. The way I see it, anything is local news if enough people putting down three quarters for the paper are interested in the subject or it impacts their lives in some way There is local news happening all over the state and even the country. For example, we'll better be able to cover developments in crimes that occur to Tri-Lakes residents in other parts of the state or country." (Wikipedia map: Teller County is located in the Courier's coverage area)

"We also have an acute interest in the outdoors, the national forests, the Colorado General Assembly, state government in general and much more," Vogrin writes. "With our AP feed, we'll be able to track more closely bills of keen interest to our readers as they move through the legislature. We'll watch for transportation funding bills that might result in the widening of Interstate 25, for example. Or legislative mandates related to school curriculum and testing."

"There are lots of examples," he writes. "I've already set up an automatic search for topics such as marijuana to track the latest news related to pot around Colorado and the nation. Other searches will deliver me stories related to military retirees, senior issues in general, skiing and more. I'm not interested in using the AP to duplicate news you'll hear on TV at 6 o'clock or on your homepage. I'm thinking more obscure stories precisely targeting our readers."

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